Health Officials Investigate IV-Related Deaths
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as the Alabama Department of Public Health are investigating the outbreak of Serratia marcescens bacteremia in several Alabama hospitals. On March 16, the Alabama Department of Public Health was notified that an outbreak had occurred in two of these hospitals among patients receiving (total parenteral nutrition) TPN. TPN is liquid nutrition fed through an IV using a catheter. Use of contaminated products may lead to bacterial infection of the blood.
"The compounding pharmacy has recalled the products and we are investigating this matter," an FDA spokesperson says. "FDA makes every effort to cooperate with states in investigating compounding pharmacies and typically defers to state authorities for the regulation of traditional pharmacy compounding."
The Alabama Department of Public Health requested assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At this time, the department is aware of 19 cases in six hospitals of Serratia marcescens bacteremia related to this outbreak.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's initial investigation identified TPN produced by a single pharmacy, Meds IV (medsiv.com), as a potential common source and has determined that these hospitals received TPN from this pharmacy. Affected hospitals are Baptist Princeton, Baptist Shelby, Baptist Prattville, Medical West, Cooper Green Mercy, and Select Specialty Hospital in Birmingham, AL. Meds IV was notified and informed its customers of the possibility of contamination.
The Alabama Department of Public Health has been informed that impacted hospitals immediately stopped using TPN received from this pharmacy and that the pharmacy discontinued all production. On March 24, Meds IV, which is located in Birmingham, AL, recalled all of its IV compounded products. FDA is aware of the voluntary recall. The pharmacy and the hospitals are cooperating with the investigation.